DESCRIPTION: Official literature on biometrics from the United Kingdom Home Office defines "bio-exempt" as a legal category for those not required to submit biometric data to the state, and specifies that children, amputees with one or no fingers, and diplomats are all designated as such. Yet, Home Office also describes bio-exempt as “exempt from control” or "exempt from immigration control." In this performative artist lecture, Zach Blas will consider "bio-exempt" as a paradigm for today's global security regime. Bio-exemption, one could say, is a mode of biopolitical control: who has the legal right to be exempt from their embodied self and who has the right to remain unmarked, not indexed.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Zach Blas is a world-renowned artist and theorist whose practice confronts technologies of capture, security, and control with minoritarian politics. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited and lectured internationally. Blas’s recent works respond to technological control, biometric governmentality, and network hegemony. Facial Weaponization Suite (2011-14) consists of “collective masks” that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition software. Contra-Internet (2014-present) explores subversions of and alternatives to the internet and is supported by a 2016 Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields.